Bloomberg ignored NYCHA concerns, memo shows

As it continues its investigations into the finances of the New York City Housing Authority, the New York Daily News found a letter addressed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year warning him of the “delay, confusion and complaints” in the agency’s management. But the letter went ignored. Meanwhile, NYCHA was found this week to have been sitting on nearly $1 billion in funds, and has come under fire for failing to install surveillance cameras just as a suspect in a housing project stairwell shooting remains on the loose.

The letter came from the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, a non-profit organization, whose main complaint centered around the agency’s alleged inability to collect another $600 million in revenue. The foundation claims that NYCHA simply failed to apply for this second serving of additional money.

“NYCHA seems to lack the capacity to put credible applications together for these desperately needed finds,” the letter reads.

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As reported this week, NYCHA is sitting on a total of $955 million in funds, which are unspent, and is now looking to borrow an additional $500 million. Since 2009, NYCHA has received over $1.2 billion to maintain living conditions for its 400,000 residents, however, the agency has spent less than $250 million of it.

The letter sent to the mayor, which city officials did not respond to requests for comment on, also blasted NYCHA for inefficiencies in scheduling repairs. The Daily News also mentioned that NYCHA has delayed a $42 million purchase for security camera installation in high-crime buildings. Another Daily News article reported NYCHA Chairman John Rhea praised the use of Harlem security cameras to bust drug dealers even as his agency has backed off on the promise to install more throughout the city. [NYDN] and [NYDN]